I got a call from a number registered to a collection agency (I looked it up online).

When I answered, knowing some of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they asked if I was Phillip. I asked him if the call was an attempt to collect a debt and he told me "I cannot discuss personal information without first identifying who you are...". He then tried to get me to verify my name and mailing address. I told him no and that if the call is an attempt to collect a debt, he is required to say so under the FDCPA.

He then proceeded to tell me that some new law prevents him from discussing vital information without verifying. I then told him "I'm giving you a Cease and Desist order and any further calls from your company will be a violation of FDCPA." and I hung up.

What would be the next best step? I am pretty much aware that he just violated FDCPA by refusing to state the nature of the call. Should I mail a letter to this company demanding they remove whatever they are reporting on me from my credit report due to the FDCPA violation? If so, can you link a sample letter to do so?


Should I report this to the 3 credit bureaus instead, using a sample letter?

  • 5
    Do you have a debt that they're attempting to collect? Or you're not the Phillip they were after? Because if the debt is genuine, they still have the right to collect, and it might be that they are actually right about the privacy violation - check with a lawyer.
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 20:23
  • They may have rights to collect a debt that is mine. But I'm looking for a solution. If it's the debt I am thinking of it's a debt for a University Parking pass that not only was not received in the mail, but I had withdrawn from classes for that semester and tried to work it out with the transportation dept but they refused stating that there is no way they could tell if I had actually used it or not (and I moved 1000 miles away).
    – phillk6751
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 20:32
  • 9
    But that is irrelevant. You want to fight the uni - you take them to court. Ignoring your debt will not make it go away, it will just make it worse.
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 20:43
  • The Wikipedia entry only talks about written notices of cease and desist, so your yelling 'cease and desist' at them won't accomplish anything. Frankly it seems to me that if there is a debt that might be validly being collected on, then refusing to cooperate is only going to make matters worse. How much was the parking pass? Is it really worth the hassle? Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 18:17
  • Ignoring the collector will not help. Call the number from another phone (not your cellphone), identify yourself, and ask them to send proof that you owe the debt. If they refuse to send it, ask them for an address, and send a certified/return receipt letter demanding proof you owe the debt. Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


Seems to me they were acting properly in attempting to identify you before discussing the nature of the debt. Once they establish your identity, you can make them specify, in writing, all the particulars, and you can request, in writing, that they stop calling you.

I am not a lawyer, so I'm going to quote the Wikipedia article on the FDCPA. Under Prohibited Conduct it includes:

Communication with third parties: revealing or discussing the nature of debts with third parties (other than the consumer's spouse or attorney) (Collection agencies are allowed to contact neighbors or co-workers but only to obtain location information;[18] disreputable agencies often harass debtors with a "block party" or "office party" where they contact multiple neighbors or co-workers telling them they need to reach the debtor on an urgent matter.)

Links to the actual statute are in the Wikipedia article.

  • Sometimes it's the littlest things. I actually misunderstood it at first. :) Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 16:41
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    @phillk6751 If you don't think this is the right answer, consider whether you would want this guy telling your neighbours: "Yes, I'm looking for phillk about an unpaid debt". Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 18:20

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